Paul McCartney and U2 have played there, and later this month, Lady Gaga will display her special brand of eccentricity on its stage.
Lost in the din about the Kings' possible exit from Power Balance Pavilion is the former Arco Arena's other role, as the region's premier concert venue.
Derided as "Echo Arena" for its acoustic issues and considered plush only by people who like cupholder marks on their knees, the facility draws some of music's hottest acts and there is no indication a Kings exit for Anaheim would end entertainment events at the arena.
The Maloof family, who own the Kings, own the arena as well, and will keep control of the building as long as they pay back $67 million they owe the city of Sacramento.
The Maloofs would not comment on the arena's future, but a spokesman for Live Nation, one of the biggest promoters to bring tours to the arena, said the company still is on board for events including tonight's Eric Clapton concert, the March 23 Gaga show and an August Josh Groban show.
"We cannot comment on tours yet to be confirmed, (but) Live Nation and Arco Arena are conducting business as usual," Chris Martinez wrote via e-mail. "We consider Arco Arena and Maloof Sports & Entertainment to be incredible partners."
Still, if the Kings leave, the arena's viability as an entertainment-focused facility faces hurdles. Because the Maloofs own the team and the building, they keep a large chunk of the profit when the Kings play their 41 home games per year. The owners aren't talking about how finances might pencil out, but it's clear they will have to share more of the take if they fill those dates with concert tours or other entertainment events brought in by outside promoters.
Other arenas have shown they can survive, even thrive, without anchor teams. Seattle's KeyArena has attracted more entertainment since it lost the SuperSonics to Oklahoma in 2008.
"The kind of secret silver lining is all of the sudden you have all these open dates you can book," KeyArena spokeswoman Stevi Boskovich said.
Freed from having to accommodate an NBA team's home dates and pre- and postseason schedules, venues without pro teams can entertain offers from bands booking tours a year out or spontaneous bookings of artists like Prince, who announced three recent shows at Oakland's Oracle Arena rather suddenly.
KeyArena's new schedule inspired Pink and Bon Jovi to start tours in Seattle, bringing greater attention to the arena than a mid-tour stop would.
"The tours start here because we have a week available where they can rehearse" beforehand, Boskovich said.
KeyArena, built in 1962 and gutted and revamped in 1995, increased its calendar from 95 events in 2008 to 109 in 2010, Boskovich said. It also is recovering from the collateral damage of an NBA exit, such as lost revenue from luxury suites.
"We lost some, but now we are picking up just as many," Boskovich said.
Kansas City's Sprint Center has yet to bring in the NBA or NHL team anticipated when the deluxe arena was built in 2007. Yet the center had little trouble filling luxury suites or any seats.
Ranked fifth nationally last year in entertainment ticket sales by concert magazine Pollstar, Sprint Center last week offered shows by rocker Kid Rock, the Lipizzaner Stallions and rapper Rick Ross.
"What we found to be the key is the diversity of events" at Sprint Center, said arena spokeswoman Shani Tate. When the arena opened, officials anticipated 90 events a year. Last year, it held 140.
KeyArena and Sprint Center have demographic advantages over Power Balance Pavilion. At 3.4 million, the Seattle metropolitan area offers a far bigger population from which to draw. Kansas City's metro population is close to Sacramento's, at about 2 million, but without the equivalent of the nearby Bay Area siphoning off music fans.
Sprint Center is also practically brand new, as are several other sports/multipurpose arenas built over the past decade. Already competing for entertainment dollars with Bay Area venues and Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Marysville, Power Balance Pavilion could lose out on potential tours to these newer arenas.
"Artists tend to go out of their way to try to play the newer buildings," said Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of Pollstar magazine. "Many of the (older) arenas were built mainly for hockey or basketball, and musical entertainment was an afterthought." In newer arenas, acoustics and sightlines get more attention.
Today, a band might take out a map of the United States and, in perusing potential stops in secondary markets, choose nicer digs in Kansas City or Pittsburgh over Sacramento's 22-year-old arena.
Last year, national concert ticket sales were down by 12 percent, according to Pollstar, yet Sprint Center increased its numbers by 40,000 over the previous year, to nearly 483,000 tickets sold. Ticket sales at the former Arco Arena dropped from 176,000 in 2009 to 166,000 in 2010, Pollstar figures show. The local venue ranked 32nd among U.S. arenas.
Michael Fahn, a veteran producer of music events in Sacramento, said that without an NBA team to worry about, the local arena "could do a lot with a little to spice things up. just basic improvement, on the acoustical issues and backstage hospitality issues."
He predicted the arena immediately could fill 10 to 15 dates left by the Kings, "and then onward and upward."